Saturday, June 27, 2009

Death--Riley Tucker Guest DJ


A lot of death has occurred over the past two weeks. Here is a quick rundown:
  • Sassy the Cat, hit by a car on the East side of Larry and Becky's house. Sassy was about six years old and could barely be seen except in fast, fleeting moments as she darted around the Wolf's property.
  • One Small Trout, caught by Voodoo Vern at the annual Cabin Opening Weekend, which also included the death of about 15 Jack and Cokes.
  • Red Dog, Randy Griffin's dad's dog that was hit by a car in Blanding.
  • Farah Fawcett, legendary Charlie's Angel who died of cancer after a courageous fight trying to overcome this deadly disease. Everyone had the famous poster on their wall, including Brian Hatch because Dean showed it to me one day as we snuck into Brian's room to look for...well, enough said. I had the other poster of Farah as she was riding a skateboard because I had the same skateboard and because her jeans were really tight. Super tight. Don't have many more memories of Farah than those.
  • Michael Jackson, King of Pop. Can't say much more than what has already been said about MJ. My early memories of Michael are twofold: first, I heard "Rock With You" on a plane while travelling to a golf tournament in California when I was 14. I loved it even though at the time I was way into punk and thought that kind of disco rubbish was useless. However, it was and still is my favorite MJ song. Second, I remember going to a golf tourney in Chuck O'Brien's car the week "Thriller" came out and putting in the cassette tape and listening to "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and loving it. Even today, with all the music available for download, Gabe just bought "Beat It" and listens to it constantly. We'll miss ya Michael.
  • Ree Goorman, Steve Goorman's Mother. Ree passed away after suffering from Alzheimer's for 20+ years.
  • Jackie Stice, Steve Goorman's Sister. Jackie sufferred from dementia and had a very tragic decline since I first met her in 2001. She was a great person with a tremendous spirit and was only 56. (BTW: Steve is Gabe's biological father).
We attended the service for Ree and Jackie last night at Eastlawn Cemetary and it was very beautiful. One of the speakers mentioned his time in Nigeria and shared some thoughts that the Nigerians have on death (I'm paraphrasing): "Western medicine is obsessed with keeping death at bay and treating death as the enemy. Death is not the enemy, human sufferring is the enemy. Death is natural and should never be feared or avoided. It is the natural end to all of our lives." Easy to say when death is not right at your doorstop. We feel very badly for Steve at this time but he has expressed his relief at not watching his mother and sister suffer any longer.

Nothing puts your life into focus and re-frames it like a funeral service. I kept thinking as I listened to the speakers, What would someone say about me when I die? It is a very self-centered experience, being at a funeral for someone else but only thinking of yourself, but I almost couldn't help it. We all want to make an impact on others and have our lives mean something. It can't all just be in vain, can it? As Jackie's friends spoke about her kindness, her loving personality and generosity, I had to step back and re-evaluate--where am I going and what are the most important thing(s) in my life?


  1. Thanks for including Red Dog in your memorial post. I hate funerals and I also wonder what people would say at mine. I would say nothing but great things about you Phil!

  2. Only thing I want said at my funeral..."She lived, she tried, she died. The end.

  3. I have many thoughts about death, and funerals, but you probably don't want to hear them. Everyday it seems someone "goes away", so it is important to live for the now, and be thankful for the life you have. I know I am.
    I love your blog, and I love you,